Attending a yoga class for the first time can create anxiety, but choosing what to wear should not. Yoga focuses on calmness, control and flexibility, so clothing should not interfere with achieving those goals. It should provide a comfortable "second skin" that permits viewing alignment and making postural adjustments as needed. Following some basic clothing guidelines will allow you to attend to salutations and poses instead of attire.
Consider comfort, confidence level and fashion when selecting a top. For women, sporting goods stores sell a wide range of tops designed for yoga, in such styles as tanks, T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts. Yoga-specific attire is stretchy, soft and moisture wicking, and many yoga companies use organic or biodegradable fibers. Any type of athletic clothing will serve this purpose if yoga-specific clothing is not attainable. Select something that reflects your personality or causes you to look forward to performing yoga. A wide range of soft colors, bright colors, symbols and patterns are available to suit all tastes.
Unrestricted movement is the most important factor when selecting bottoms, so ensure the material is form fitting yet comfortable and does not require adjustment while attempting to hold poses. As with tops, yoga-specific shorts and long pants are common in sporting goods stores. Avoid any type of bottom that has a drawstring waist because the strings will cause discomfort while lying facedown. Also wear pants that are an appropriate length to avoid tripping.
Many yoga companies produce layering pieces such as long-sleeved thermal hoodies and lightweight zip-up jackets. These are ideal to wear during cooler weather when traveling to a yoga class or to wear in a room that may be cold. Layers can also aid in raising core temperature and loosening muscles during the warm up and prevent chills during final relaxation when the body is not producing as much heat.
The available yoga attire for men has expanded considerably as the practice can continued to become more mainstream. Men who don't practice yoga regularly can wear comfortable athletic clothing such as shorts and a T-shirt. Select lightweight materials that promote flexibility and wick away your sweat. If you're committed to practicing yoga, buy attire specifically designed for this activity. As with women's wear, men's yoga wear is light, comfortable, stretchy and available in a variety of colors.
- Yoga Flavored Life: Yoga Clothing -- What Shoudl I Wear? by Charlotte Bradley
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- NYTimes.com: Dress Codes -- What's a Guy to Wear for Yoga? by David Colman
- The Art of Living: Yoga Wear -- Secrets for Choosing the Right Yoga Clothes
- News 92 FM: Fashion/Style Friday: Tips on Choosing Yoga Clothes